WESTFIELD, NJ — The public will have the opportunity to speak next month on a proposed final draft of a state required update to the town’s guide for development.

The report’s release represents the final stage of a nearly yearlong process in which the town and its consultant, H2M Architects + Engineers, gathered extensive feedback from the public, officials said. It included a series of workshops and an online survey.

“The findings of the Master Plan Reexamination should be a reflection of the community at large, and I’m so pleased with the level of engagement we received to capture a tremendous amount of valuable feedback,” said Mayor Shelley Brindle in a statement. “The adoption of this plan will be integral in mapping an exciting next chapter in Westfield’s future.”

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The town has scheduled a public hearing on the master plan update for Dec. 2, after which the Planning Board is anticipated to formally approve the reassessment of the town’s existing master plan, something the state requires municipalities do annually.

Jeff Janota, a land-use planning manager for H2M Architects + Engineers, is anticipated to present to the board on the report, Planning Board Chairman Robert Newell said. A public hearing will follow the presentation, Newell said.

The 207-page report includes discussion of promoting traffic-calming measures, discouraging the demolition of older homes, offering opportunities for public art and open space and encouraging green infrastructure, among other measures.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PROPOSED MASTER PLAN REEXAMINATION REPORT.

Officials have estimated the cost of the planning update at $98,000.

“The survey captured more than 67,000 responses and 4,500 comments, all of which are viewable online, along with an overview of the Reexamination process,” a news release from the town states. “All participants had the opportunity to weigh in on a variety of areas derived from the existing master plan — vision, commercial/mixed use development, land use, transportation, Downtown Economic Development, community facilities and historic preservation — as well as a downtown area parking assessment.”

What’s next?

The Planning Board is anticipated to hold a presentation and public hearing on a reexamination of the town’s master plan at its meeting Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. It will take place at the Municipal Building, 425 East Broad St., Westfield.

Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh

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